Hajj to Commence on June 14 as Saudi Arabia Sights Dhul-Hijjah’s Crescent Moon

The Supreme Court of Saudi Arabia has announced the sighting of the crescent moon of Dhu al-Hijjah on Thursday evening, June 6th. Consequently, Friday, June 7th, will mark the beginning of Dhu al-Hijjah, the final month of the Islamic calendar. After astronomical observatories spotted the crescent moon, the official Saudi Press Agency (SPA) said, “The Supreme Court determined that Dhu al-Hijjah, the 12th and final month of the Islamic calendar, would begin on Friday.“ Following this development, the authorities from the land of the Two Holy Mosques confirmed that the Hajj pilgrimage would commence on June 14th.

Hajj is considered to be one of the five pillars of Islam. Followers of the religion with adequate means must undertake the pilgrimage tour at least once during their lives. Devotees undertake a series of rituals and practices that span at least four days in Mecca and its surroundings in the west of Saudi Arabia. The high point of the pilgrimage is on the second day, which will fall on June 15th this year. During the time, the pilgrims gather for prayers on Mount Arafat, where Prophet Mohammed delivered his final sermon.

During a press conference on Thursday, the Saudi hajj and Umrah minister, Tawfiq al-Rabiah, said, “Approximately 1.2 million pilgrims from various countries of the world had already arrived in Saudi Arabia for this year’s Hajj,” reported AP. According to official figures from 2023, over 1.8 million Muslims undertook the Hajj pilgrimage. Saudi Arabia houses Islam’s shrines in Mecca and Medina, earning billions of dollars annually from the annual Hajj pilgrimage and the Umrah, undertaken at other times of the year.

The Saudi Press Agency further informed that Eid al-Adha will fall on June 16th this year. In a statement on Thursday, the Saudi Supreme Court said, “Arafat Day falls on Saturday, June 15th, while Sunday, June 16th, will be the first day of Eid Al Adha.” While most Gulf countries follow Saudi Arabia’s announcements and agree on the date of Eid-Al-Adha celebrations, Oman declared that the crescent moon was not sighted on Thursday. Consequently, Eid-Al-Adha will be celebrated in Oman on Monday, June 17th.

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